How Pandian upset BJP’s plans

How Pandian upset BJP’s plans

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of the BJD has been in office for the last 24 years and that in itself is a testimony to his popularity in the State. 

While the Congress is virtually non-existent in the State, the BJP has emerged as the primary Opposition in the State.

Initially, there was talk of an alliance between the BJD and BJP but that did not materialize and both the Parties are fighting the electoral battle, solo. 

BJP is now accusing the CMO office of corruption and says Odisha is being ruled by a coterie that has held Naveen Babu in its grip.

All these remarks are targeted at VK Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer, who till recently was Naveen Patnaik’s personal secretary. 

Six months ago, Pandian quit his job and joined politics full-time. He is widely considered to be Naveen Patnaik’s successor.

The BJP had hoped that since Naveen Patnaik was 77 years old and with no successors, Odisha would be left to them. But the political entry of Pandian changed all that. 

Pandian is as popular as Naveen Patnaik. Therefore, the BJP is now referring to him as a Tamilian and outsider although Pandian is married to an IAS officer who is a native of Odisha.

If Pandian becomes the Chief Minister, the BJP would find it increasingly difficult to form the government in Odisha in the future, too. 

Therefore, the top guns of the BJP including none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are training their guns on Pandian.

However, this seems to be having no effect on the people who continue to admire Pandian and throng for selfies with him. 

As one Odisha man said, “How can any Indian be an outsider in his own country?”